New England Fish Chowder


A lot of modern New England fish chowders are so rich they obscure the taste of the fish completely However, the dish was first prepared by sailors using waters (thickened through hardtack). This recipe honors these basic roots by serving moist, soft fish pieces in a delicate broth. The gentle poaching of cod in a salt-infused water with onions, pork, and herbs resulted in a swift fish stock that eliminated the risk of overcooking the fish.

After removing the cod we cooked the potatoes within the soup. The addition of whole milk to the soup, instead of heavy cream or half-and-half made the soup fresh and light-tasting, and also preserved the taste from the cod. A teaspoon of cornstarch stirred into the milk prior to placing it in the pot , coated its proteins, which prevented it from curdling while the soup simmered gently together with the reintroduced pieces cod. The chowder can be garnished with fresh chives minced Crisp bacon bits and oyster crackers.

Serving: 6

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 onions, chopped
4 ounces salt pork, rind removed, rinsed, and cut in half
1½ teaspoons minced fresh thyme or ½ teaspoon dried
¾ teaspoon table salt
1 bay leaf
5 cups water
2 pounds skinless cod fillets, 1 inch thick, sliced crosswise into 6 equal pieces
1½ pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces
2 cups whole milk
1 tablespoon cornstarch
½ teaspoon pepper

1. Melt butter in a Dutch oven at medium-low temperature. Add the onions along with salt pork, thyme as well as salt bay leaf, and salt and cook until the onions are soft but not brown for 3 to 5 mins. Mix in the water and simmer. Take off the heat and gently put fish fillets in the pot, then pour cooking liquid on top cover and wait until the fish is opaque and almost cooked approximately 5 minutes. Place cod in bowl.

2. Mix potatoes in the pot and cook at medium-high temperature. Cook until the potatoes are tender and begin to split approximately 20 minutes.

3. While whisking, mix milk along with cornstarch and pepper in a bowl. Mix the milk mixture into the soup and bring it back to simmer. Add the fish and any leftover juices to the pot. Take pot off cooking, cover it, and allow to sit for five minutes. Take out the bay leaf and salt pork. Mix gently using wooden spoon to break the fish into pieces large enough to eat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper according to your preference. Serve immediately.

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